By: Blathnaid Heaney ’19
With a successful season last year, Cross Country is gearing up for their new season with high hopes for the team and for each other.
After losing four seniors last year and gaining 17 freshman this year, the team’s dynamic changed considerably. The girls varsity team gained two promising freshman runners, Madie Perez and August Roberts, while the boys team added one freshman, Caleb Cohen, to their varsity roster.
Even with the changes, however, senior captain, Mariah Moro, believes that the team will do well this year.
“The team will continue to grow stronger with the help of our new runners. Each offers their own strength which is really exciting,” said Moro.
The team had plenty of time to bond and train together over the summer. Their coach, Nikki Olson, held practices six days a week to prepare the team for the long season ahead. Most of the workouts were varied to help pinpoint certain weaker aspects of the team.
Senior captain Lucas Rondan said, “Summer training has prepared me for the season by building a base for me and [helping me] gain endurance all throughout the summer.”
With the summer practices under their belt, the captains feel confident in the team’s ability.
“My goal for the boys team is [for us] to bond and to make it to CIF finals and hopefully state,” said Rondan.
In order to do so, the boys team will have to race head-to-head with Loyola High School, one of the strongest teams in state.
The girls team has set high goals as well, but the road to CIF will pit them against Harvard Westlake, one of their toughest competitors, as well as the number one runner in California, Claudia Lane, from Malibu High School.
All of the runners want to improve on the results of previous seasons. Mariah Moro wants to improve on last year’s season after finishing 7th at the State Championships.
This year, her goal is to place among the top five at State and to break her time of 17:15 in the three mile.
Likewise, Lucas Rondan desires to break his own Personal Record of 16:21 and to have a great senior year.
The team’s next meet is the Woodbridge Cross Country Classic on Friday, September 15 at the Silverlakes Sports Complex in Corona.
Good luck to our Racing Knights!